Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips

Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips

Cinco de Mayo is next week, and while this holiday is actually a commemoration marking Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla way back in 1862, here in the U.S. the date has become more of a celebration of Mexican-American culture, music, and food. And we all know that I have a profound love for (okay, maybe even a slight obsession with) Mexican-inspired cuisine. So I say that a day that includes consuming it (along with other delights like fresh Margaritas; yes please) as a form of fiesta is something pretty freaking wonderful, and I always find a way to take advantage.

In preparation for a little Cinco de Mayo gathering, I decided to put together a recipe for one of my favorite Mexican-American snacks (7 layer dip) in a way that was a little more party-friendly in terms of serving than a big old casserole dish. I also wanted to make it (just a tiny bit) healthier by switching out a few ingredients in exchange for others (but I’ll get to that in a minute). These individual layer dips are so easy to make, incredibly delicious, and they look pretty too.

Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 cups Rojo’s Salsas (I like to use 2; usually Homestyle and Restaurant Style, or their new Organic Traditional)
1 can (16 oz) vegetarian refried beans
1 large ripe avocado
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2-1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6-8 black olives, slicked
small bunch green onions, sliced
a few pieces of cilantro
chili powder
cumin
salt
2-3 limes

In a small bowl, mix the refried beans with chili powder, cumin, and a little salt to taste. In another small bowl, make the guacamole by mashing up the avocado in a bowl with a couple dashes of salt and some fresh squeezed lime juice. Now start layering! Set out 6 medium sized glasses and evenly divide the beans, followed by the guacamole, the Greek yogurt, and the Rojo’s Salsa. Top that with a sprinkle of cheese, some black olives, and some green onion slices. Then sprinkle on a little chili powder and a squeeze of lime on the top of each glass, and garnish with cilantro and a tortilla chip. Fiesta in a glass!

Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips
Individual Mexican Style Layer Dips

In addition to the fact this layer dip is perfect for celebrations (and let’s face it, cuter and more fun too) because of the individually sized servings, it’s also healthier than traditional 7-layer dips, which are loaded with sour cream, cheese, and salt. Swapping out sour cream for plain Greek yogurt not only makes for a creamier, more flavorful dip, it also increased the protein and cuts back on the calories. I also like to use shredded cheese as more of a garnish than a layer. Cheddar is a great choice because the flavor is strong so you need less. And I always choose Rojo’s Salsas because they are made with premium, fresh-cut ingredients in small batches with, and are refrigerated instead of jarred. It’s no secret that, like Mexican inspired food, I’m a big fan of Rojo’s. (Two of my favorite recipes use their salsas – Healthy Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Vegan Black Bean and Salsa Soup.) We grow tomatoes in our summer container gardens and I used to make salsa with them all the time – but now I just buy Rojo’s. They taste just as fresh and even more delicious than our home grown salsas, and (major bonus) all I have to do is open the container.

Are you doing anything to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year? If you’re making a special dish for it, I’d love to hear your recipe!

This post is in partnership with Rojo’s Salsa. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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A rescue story

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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It may vary state to state but overall, they are n…

It may vary state to state but overall, they are non-discriminatory.
BAD RAP Blog

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The law is based on facts, that pit bulls dispropo…

The law is based on facts, that pit bulls disproportionately bite at higher rates compared to other dogs. Discriminatory? maybe. Necessary? Definitely.

In July 2005, about 6 months prior to San Francisco enacting a pit bull sterilization law, the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed hundreds of dog bites logged by the city. According to Animal Care and Control department records, pit bulls and their mixes accounted for 27% of reported dog bites since 2003, even though they accounted for only 6% of licensed dogs. Of the 900 bite incidents recorded in this period, 626 traced to a specific dog. Of those, 169 bites were attributed to pit bulls. As the Chronicle writer points out, "that's more than the number of bites by German shepherds (69), Labradors (58) and rottweilers (34) combined."
BAD RAP Blog

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I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. …

I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. When signing HUD re-certification papers I had to sign a document stating that I was aware that as a HUD rent subsidy client with a disability I had a right to a service animal with a doctor's note. My landlord did not want any animals in the building. There had never been one before in the 11 years or so of it's existence. I had to get a lawyer but next week I will adopt my dog.
-James
BAD RAP Blog

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Dog Alerts Owner to Stranded Dolphin – Saving the Sea Creature!

Leia the dog saves baby dolphin

When most of us go walking along the beach with our dog, we might come across some cool sea shells or beach glass. One man came across a stranded baby dolphin!

According to NTD.tv, the unnamed man was fishing and taking photos of his dog, Leia, along a beach in North Whales on the day in question. He was near the mouth of the River Dwyfor when, as he wrote on YouTube, “I heard my dog barking at me from further down the beach….clearly she had found something!”

When the man got closer he saw that she had found a stranded baby dolphin. The shore there was rocky and the waves were crashing hard. Normally if one finds a stranded dolphin on a beach, it’s recommended to call the local emergency services for help. “Unfortunately,” the man wrote, he “didn’t have a mobile signal” that day at the beach and “there was nobody around for miles” to help.

Read more about Leia saving a baby dolphin.

Halo Pets

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Former Shelter Dog New Canine Ambassador of The Claremont Club & Spa

For the new Canine Ambassador at a hotel dubbed “The Castle on the Hill,” life is a Cinderella story. Edie’s Tale Once upon a time, a puppy was found wandering the streets.  First…



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DogTipper

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Happy as a Golden Retriever

‘There is something about the human condition. I don’t think dogs are like “If only I was a poodle instead of a golden retriever, I’d be totally happy.” Dogs are happy with who they are.’

~ Michael Ian Black 
RIVIERA DOGS

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Derek…. The media has never been great about int…

Derek…. The media has never been great about interpreting stats, which need to be followed for several years before they serve any value. Would love for the Chron to explain the big post-2005 jump in bite stats.

This breakdown came directly to us from SFACC employee Kat Brown.

SFACC 2005-2006:
Total dog intake — 2545 (22 biters)
Total dog euth — 778 (unknown why total outcome of dogs does not add up to total intake — 2541)
Euth rate: 30.6% of intake
Last quarter of this period:
Total bites reported — 62 (of that, 9 were pit bulls, 12 were pit bull mixes)

SFACC 2006-2007:
Total dog intake — 2428 (34 biters)
Total dog euth — 616 (again, total outcome of dogs does not add up to total intake — 2446)
Euth rate: 25.4% of intake
Total bites reported — 336 (of that, 26 were pit bulls, 34 were pit bull mixes)
Last quarter of this period:
Total bites reported — 114 (9 were pit bulls, 9 were pit bull mixes)

More recently (2014) the SF dog judge hears "investigates about 450 cases a year, and presides over about 120 hearings."

(source) http://www.sfgate.com/pets/article/Dog-judge-acts-as-mediator-between-pets-people-3569829.php

If SF has solved its "bite problem" by targeting blocky headed dogs, then why do city dogs keep biting? We would suggest looking to contemporary, peer reviewed research for those answers. To start, science has confirmed that a dog's genetic make-up does not and cannot predict future behaviors.

Trying to suss out biters based on nothing but physical appearance is an old school belief that keeps cities like SF living in the dark ages and chasing down bite cases. Just imagine if those resources were used on bite prevention programs instead. For more info on dog bites than anyone can eat in one helping, please review the research archived on by National Canine Research Council.

http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/browse/research_library/?f[0]=im_field_topics%3A56
BAD RAP Blog

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The Chinese endemic wildcat

chinese mountain cat night

We lump. We split. We recombine. We split again.

Taxonomic disputes. Cladistics. Phylogenetic trees. We quibble. We quarrel.

I particularly love these disputes. They are what happens in this era of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis and the rise of cladistic classification models.

Ever since it was known to modern science, the tufted-eared wildcat of mountains of Qinghai and Sichuan were thought be a unique species, an endemic mountain cat of China.

It was called Felis bieti after the missionary naturalist Felix Biet who was stationed in Tibet. Pronounced the proper French way, Felis bieti sounds a lot like Felix Biet, though he was not the person who named it. Alphonse Milne-Edwards, the scholarly French mammalogist, named the beast.

And all was fine taxonomy-wise.

Then, as the Chinese population grew, they began to put lots and lots of pressure on the mountains. They poisoned the pikas and rodents, and the cat’s numbers have started to drop.

It might be easy to get people interested in preserving the cat.

Even more so, because its classical taxonomy has been called into question.  A 2007 genetic study that sought to find the origins of the domestic cat found that the Felis bieti was actually so close to the wildcat that it ought to be regarded as a subspecies. This was a limited mtDNA study, which has its potential problems.

It could be that there is indeed a unique Felis bieti but that it has hybridized so much with wildcats or their domestic kin that they have a wildcat-like mtDNA sequence. So we’re going to need some nuclear DNA studies to confirm whether this is a subspecies or not.

If it turns out to be wildcat subspecies, then it might actually be easier to rally support for conserving it. People love cats so much that it often gets very hard to have discussions about them as invasive species, so when we have a potential close cousin of Fluffy or Morris that might go extinct, it might be easier to get people interested in preserving them.

These cats are found not far from the where the last wild giant pandas roam. The Chinese mountain cat, as it is known in English, isn’t quite as rare as the panda.

Taxonomic quibbles and quarrels do have political consequences.  Some of them are good. Some are them are negative.

We use the information the best information we have, but we always manipulate symbols in order to rally support for our causes.

The tufted wildcat of China might be one of those species we might easily manipulate.  The Scottish wildcat has been called “the Highland tiger, ” and even though it’s unlikely that any pure Scottish wildcats still exist, it has captured the imagination of the British conservation-minded community.

Perhaps something could be done here as well.  People love that which is nearest to their own understanding, and domestic cats losing their closest wild kin is something that would bother many.

This is what has helped wolves in their public relations and led to their ultimate success as a conservation story.

A little wildcat could have a lot of appeal, and maybe it can be saved, bieti or silvestris or whatever it is.


Natural History

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